“Several current and former Met employees and a member of the board said in interviews this week that while Mr. Levine was a beloved figure, they hoped he would soon take on an emeritus position that would keep him involved in the company as part of a graceful exit.” [New York Times]
Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) is opera on the grand scale with mellifluous arias and breathtaking duets that tell a tale of ancient Roman political machinations, adultery, and murder in which there is no true protagonist. This stunningly expressive music is performed by an all-star cast. Soprano Miah Persson, praised by The New York Times for her “sumptuous sound and elegant lyricism,” is joined by singers who have all won worldwide critical acclaim for their mastery of this beautiful repertoire. The Guardian wrote that “there are few performers better-versed in the music of Claudio Monteverdi than Rinaldo Alessandrini and the ensemble he founded 30 years ago, Concerto Italiano.” Alessandrini and company anchor a performance that promises to be one of the season’s most thrilling nights of opera.
“Mr. Luisi won praise replacing Mr. Levine time after time, particularly in a costly version of Wagner’s Ring cycle—though, perhaps in a sign of the situation’s delicacy, the two conductors have never met in person.” [New York Times]
La Cieca thinks she knows who the murderer is.
Even when he’s not conducting the production, or, for that matter, even after the production is closed, Maestro Levine remains a presence on the Met’s website.
Although the season is less than three weeks old, Metropolitan Opera audiences may hear nothing else this season as beautiful as Peter Mattei’s “Song to the Evening Star.”
What gets me, La Cieca snaps, is not so much that Levine bit off more than he could chew, because that’s old news.
“Met Music Director James Levine has decided to lighten his workload by removing the new production of Berg’s Lulu from his schedule so that he may focus his energies completely on Wagner’s epic drama Tannhäuser.”
James Levine turns 72 this year. Even though his health has improved considerably in the past year and he may continue to conduct for a decade or more, it seems inevitable that he will step down as the Met’s Music Director sometime in the next few years to assume the role of Conductor Laureate.